From telling us what food we eat to what medicines we can take, people in power have tried to tell individuals what they shouldn’t put into their bodies for decades. But who should decide what a person can do, the individual or the government?
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Food and Drug Administration: The government agency responsible for determining what food and medicines individuals are allowed to consume.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Connor: Hey Brittany.
Brittany: Hey Connor.
Connor: Hey, I want to talk to you about our bodies and not those awkward conversations. The parents that might have with their children. More specifically, I wanna talk about when can the government tell us what to put in our bodies? So, there you know, coming out of the whole coronavirus stuff, there was a lot of conversation and still is at times about vaccinations, for example. So, you know, some smart people work on a vaccine for that or for any other sickness and then they say everyone needs to get this vaccine. So is it right that the government can tell us what to put in our bodies? I know this isn’t, we’re gonna have other ideas cuz there, there are other circumstances where this kind of thing happens apart from vaccines, but maybe let’s chat briefly there.
Connor: So what are your thoughts? I mean, I know you were a teacher and…
Connor: …And having to deal with kids and stuff and oftentimes that’s where those laws are set, is they say, if you wanna go to school, then you have to get vaccinated. What are your thoughts about the government telling you what you have to inject into your body with a vaccine?
Brittany: I have a hard time with that. I think everybody’s so different. We each have different needs. There’s even some people that have autoimmune disorders or they’re immune compromised where vaccines are gonna be very, very harmful for them because a lot of vaccinations have a little bit of the virus or whatever it is you’re fighting against inside of it, so that’s very dangerous for them. So I think it’s a very dangerous law or a very dangerous precedent, descent to have any government tell you that you can or can’t put something in your body, but especially you must put something in your body.
Connor: Yeah, and I think about it in terms of risk. And what I mean by that is the people who are supportive of vaccinations, they think that the more people who get the vaccine, the more people who, get injected then it’s lower risk for everyone because fewer people are gonna get sick. So their mind─
Brittany: They call that I think herd immunity, right? Is the word they were using?
Connor: Yeah. And even, during the lockdowns of coronavirus, the idea was, if this can save just one life, right, then it’s important that we do this. We need to all lock everything down, shut everything down because this is how we’re going to save lives.
And yet in, that case, sure there’s a risk of contracting COVID-19 and getting sick, especially for older people.
Connor: But what happens when the government shuts everything down, right? The economy goes crazy, people lose their jobs.
Brittany: We saw that happening.
Connor: Right. And you know, it’s sad to talk about, but a lot of people get in such bad situations that some people even commit suicide, right? Some people do what’s called domestic violence, which is, kind of beating up their kids or abusing people, which is horrible, right?
Brittany: Horrible. Yeah.
Connor: Horrible, horrible.
Connor: And but it happens. Right. This is the world we live in. There are bad people out there and so when the government comes and says, let’s shut everything down, you might save some lives from coronavirus. But then because of the decision you’ve made and how you’re manipulating people, you’re actually gonna create some harm over here, on the other side.
Like we just mentioned with vaccines, I think it’s the same thing. You just mentioned, people who are immunocompromised or have challenges. The government person might be thinking, “Oh, now we’re gonna make sure no one gets smallpox or measles or coronavirus or whatever it is,” so let’s vaccinate everyone. But when the government forces you and, mandates vaccination, there is risk involved with injecting things in your body.
If the government is telling you, must have this in your body. It’s not like vaccines have never harmed anyone and never killed anyone, right. And so, the government is telling you what kind of risk is okay and what kind isn’t, but it’s kind of a trade off. The-They’re saying─
Brittany: I was gonna say, yeah. An economist I love said that, “You’re not saving life, so youre trading life,” he said that about quarantine. Where it’s like, you just, like you said, some people will be better, but some people might actually be harmed by this.
Brittany: So you’re not saving your trading.
Connor: That’s interesting. What’s another example that you can think of [that] the government telling people to put things or not put things in their body.
Brittany: Yeah, one thing that I really like is raw milk and for those that don’t know, so raw milk or the milk that you get from the grocery store has been pasteurized, which means it’s gone through this process; bunch of antibiotics, sometimes put in it. They do all these things to make sure that the milk you’re drinking is safe but raw milk has a lot of benefits and a lot of people prefer to drink it, the problem is it’s illegal. So you have people having to buy it, like on the, what’s called the black market where it’s almost like where you buy illegal things, and it’s so silly because you’re buying milk─
Connor: From a cow…
Brittany: From a cow. And I know lots of families, you know, these are moms and dads, people with five or six kids who prefer this milk. And there’s a lot of, it helps build immunity, so there’s a lot of reasons for people to like it. But the government has said, “No, you’re not allowed to have this,” I believe maybe there’s a state or two that allows it. I think that’s kind of becoming more popular now.
Connor: Yep. There have been…
Connor: …A few states, including ours in Utah. We work on a─
Brittany: That’s right.
Connor: A bill to legalize raw milk and it was so silly.
Like here we are up at the capital and I’m like, “Guy, what’s the big deal,” right? And it was so funny because we had on the committee, we had all these legislators on the committee and all of them are, cause it went to this committee called the Natural Resources Committee and the Agriculture Committee.
So these are legislators who have a background in farming or have some connection in their families, so they kind of got put on that committee because they know some things about agriculture, right?
And so a lot of these guys were old ranchers and farmers or they, grew up on a farm. And so all these people were like, “Oh, all I ever drank when I was growing up was raw milk.”
Connor: What’s the big deal, right? This is the way it used to be before all this pasteurization. And yet what happens? You get the, milk lobby, so these were kind of lobbyists for the milk industry and they would come up with the capital and they wanted to keep raw milk banned, right. They wanted to keep it illegal because that means everyone has to buy their milk, which is pasteurize
Brittany: That does seem right, a lot of people do that. They don’t, that’s crazy.
Connor: Right. And so they were fighting attempts to legalize raw milk. And another argument they made, which I thought was interesting was, well, wait a minute, people are more, in their opinion, they’re like “People are more likely to get sick from raw milk,” and so then if there’s a news story about, “Oh Connor, this guy, Connor drank milk and got sick.
They felt like it would blame the entire milk industry and that people would just stop drinking milk, when in fact it had to do with raw milk. Now that, I don’t think they had a really good argument.
Connor: It’s not like there have been, you know. I think the media does a pretty good job about saying, “Oh, it was raw milk.” And that doesn’t necessarily cause problems for the, broader milk industry but they use these kind of fear tactics.
Connor: To scare legislators and say, “Oh, we don’t wanna give their, you know, these people, their freedom to drink milk straight from the cow like you all did when you grew up on the ranch,” you know? And, so yeah, raw, milk’s an interesting one, cause here’s the government saying, if you, as an owner of a cow attempt to sell milk directly with someone else, you’re a criminal. Like isn’t that crazy just for like─
Brittany: That is crazy. That means anybody who’s had a sip of raw milk too, would be almost a betting, right. Would be like aiding and a betting would be participating in an illegal act.
Connor: Yeah, right. And how silly that is when the government has become so, you know, invasive in our lives where it’s telling us what we can and can’t have in our body. Okay.
So, we’ve talked about vaccinations, where they’re wanting you to put things in your body. We’ve talked about raw milk where they’re saying don’t put things in your body; maybe another example has to do with medicine. I think of a, government you know, agency called the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration and this is a, federal agency.
Brittany: I’ve been in their building, they have a big building here in DC.
Connor: I’m sure they do. They get a lot of money and, they’ve become kind of the government agency in charge of approving medicine. And so they will say, okay, well yes, this medicine is okay and that medicine isn’t okay. And it’s really interesting if you look at their history because over time they’ve said that certain medicines are okay, that actually ended up harming a lot of people. So they did, what’s called a recall, right? They’re like, no, just kidding. Don’t! No one should─
Brittany: Nope. We messed up!
Connor: Right, no one should use that anymore. But then also on the other hand, what I think is more interesting is they have not approved a lot of things that could help people. So someone might discover or create this drug that can help someone with their, you know, heart or their eyes or whatever that case might be. And they have to pay all kinds of money and wait for years and years, in order to basically get a permission slip from the FDA. In order for people to buy their medicine, rather than leaving it up to kind of the free market where a doctor could say, well, I’ve, read the research, I think this is safe. It’s past this kind of basic test so we know it’s not gonna kill anyone, right.
And-And I’ve reviewed the science and I think we should use it for you and, and in their best judgment, making those decisions rather than waiting for the government to tell them you’re not allowed to put that in your body. I just think that’s a big problem. And think of all the people who could have been helped, you know, with these medicines that the government is like standing in the middle of and saying, “Nope, you’re not allowed to use that.”
Brittany: That’s what concerns me is what I’m thinking is let’s talk about cancer. Something that has a pretty, you know, high death rate, it’s going down as the years go on but a lot of people die from cancer.
If there’s a drug that maybe isn’t FDA approved, that doesn’t have that stamp of approval, but it could help them. They shouldn’t have to wait five or ten years and they might not have five to ten years, you know, they might be gone before then. So it seems almost more harmful to tell individuals they can’t put something in their body than to say, here are the risks, it’s up to you whether you want to take those risks or not. Just like raw milk, you know, there, this could happen, but it is up to you to make that decision and I think it should be the individual’s decision.
Connor: I think that’s right. In a past episode, Brittany, we talked when the, who has more power the States or the Federal Government. And one example in that, like playing chicken between the levels of government was medical cannabis that all these states have said, you know what? We think this is medicine. It’s helping a lot of people with cancer or with epilepsy, like seizures and we think people ought to have it, but the federal government was like, “No, we don’t think you should have it,” and, you know, you’re a criminal if you use it. So here’s a plant that anyone can basically grow, it’s kind of just a weed which is why it gets its nickname as weed, right? But, it’s actually a medicine that can really, really help a lot of people. There are so many stories that I’ve heard of and, people I know there’s, I have a neighbor
Brittany: And moms and dads. These aren’t just, you know, we think of, like it’s a drug or something, but these are moms and dads, right.
Connor: Right, the perfect example in my mind is my neighbor. She lives about four or five houses down the road, sweet lady. She’s probably my age, maybe a little bit older and she has a bunch of little kids and one of her children actually passed away from epilepsy, a number of years ago.
They had tried all these drugs, all these problems, but he, fell asleep one night and didn’t wake up, which is very tragic.
Brittany: How terrible.
Connor: And they later discovered that their new their daughter had that same condition. And of course, you know, place yourself in her mind here, you’re thinking like, “Great, here we go again, are we gonna lose another child?” It was just traumatic and horrible, and the medicines weren’t working and, the medicines they were being given were actually causing a lot of harm, a lot of side effects, right? So they were using these medications that were supposed to help control the seizures so forth.
Brittany: And FDA improved medications.
Connor: Right, exactly and yet they were causing a lot of harm for this little child. Well, so this mom before, like our organization, our think tank, we actually got the law changed in the Utah so that people can now use medical cannabis but before we were able to change the law, this mother law-abiding-mom, conservative mom, very religious, you know, wanting to always do what’s right, but she felt like she was at a point where she needed to try cannabis.
She had seen stories across the country of people with epilepsy using cannabis, just a couple drops of oil under the tongue and, the seizures would slow down or stop. And again, think if, you’re that mom you’ve lost one child, another child is suffering, is-is kind of deteriorating, not doing very well and the, doctors basically said, sorry, we can’t do anything else. And so if you’re a parent in that situation, clearly you’re gonna want to try anything.
Connor: And so she tried cannabis for her daughter, it worked great. She started giggling, you know, and laughing and she fell asleep and slept for a while, which she hadn’t been and so ever since then, she’s been able to use this, and so for her, it was a huge blessing. But think about it, the government is like, “No, you should not be able to use that stuff,” and she’s like, “my doctors support it.” Right. My doctors are okay with this and even though, you know, at the time it wasn’t legal and I think it’s okay and cannabis isn’t gonna hurt her at all with side effects, like these FDA approved medications.
Brittany: Yes. We’ve all seen those commercials where, you know, 30 seconds of the commercial are just a bunch of side effects.
Connor: Right. Contact your doctor, unless you have these 83 problems.
Connor: In which case you might die, right?
Connor: And, so yeah, it’s, you know, the cannabis isn’t gonna harm her. It, clearly has the opportunity to help. It helps a lot of other people, yet her own government is saying, we will treat you like a criminal, if you put this stuff in this case, it was in her daughter’s body. But for, you know, people in general, it’s, if you put it in, your own body, I remember, you’ve probably seen this Brittany, I’m a big fan of memes. I like these
Connor: Little graphics that kind of share a funny point. And there was this meme of some police officers barging into a home and they’ve got their guns drawn and clearly thereafter, a bad guy. And the little subtitle on the graphic says, does anyone have a plant in here? We’re looking for a plant. And then they were coming in to try and get cannabis, right, which again, for a lot of people’s medicines.
So that’s a really interesting topic because, you know, government exists Britney. As I understand it, proper government exists to secure our rights, to protect our life, our liberty, and our property. And I think our liberty includes the right to put whatever we want in our body now, where I think we run into problems, Brittany is if I put something in my body and then say, for example, I get behind the steering wheel of a vehicle, right?
Brittany: Ooh yeah.
Connor: Because now I’m a threat to other people. I might harm other people or you know, if there’s a drug dealer selling to children, clearly that’s horrible, right?
Connor: That shouldn’t be allowed to happen
Brittany: Or, even doing drugs, right? There’s harm that can come from doing drugs, that maybe aren’t medicine, doing drugs for fun, can absolutely cause harm.
Connor: Absolutely, and so that’s not to say that these things don’t have problems or risks, they absolutely do. But when the government comes in, they add even more risk by saying, well, we don’t think you should be able to put raw milk in your body or cannabis in your body for medicine. And if you do, you know, you’re gonna go to jail.
And we’ve seen a number of stories where when the government when the police show up to enforce the loss, something goes wrong. Maybe someone says, or, you know, does something, or they reach for their wallet and the officer thinks they’re reaching for a knife or a gun and they shoot. And, you’re just like, “Oh my gosh, all of this started just because they were saying…” I, remember stories of Amish families who would sell raw milk and like butter that they would.
Brittany: Yeah. I was gonna say butter, I remember butter stories, yeah
Connor: Yeah, and you’d get these government officers with guns drawn. They had surveillance footage that I saw in one of their little kind of co-op stores and these officers came in with guns drawn to basically seize their cheese. Like what?
Brittany: It’s worse than a plant coming in for the cheese.
Connor: I know, and I’m like, what are you doing? You guys like the government, shouldn’t be letting people have these basic freedoms. Let people put things in their bodies, as long as they’re not a risk to anyone else, you know, their kids, other kids, people on the road, anything like that. You know, when the government’s telling you even what kind of medicine you can and can’t have, then I think the government’s a little bit too big than it should be.
Brittany: I agree.
Connor: All right guys, well, that’s it for this time, stick around for the next episode. Make sure you’re subscribed by the way, share it with your friends, and Brittany, I’ll see you on the next episode.
Brittany: See you next time.